Saturday evening I engaged in a rescue mission to free a man who had got on the wrong side of the Eau Claire mafia and was locked up in a small cabin room with only sixty minutes of oxygen left. I with four siblings—Jeff, Chad, Benny, and Elizabeth—our friend Jayden, and Benny’s fiancée, Tricia, ransacked the cabin looking for clues that would tell us how to unlock locks which would reveal other clues which would ultimately lead to the code that unlocked the door where our “witness” was imprisoned.
There were multiple codes to decipher and a secret room behind a wooden wall which we had to discover in order to find additional clues.
That’s our witness in the picture above. When we burst into the room where he was trapped—ten minutes before our time was up—we found him hung from ceiling by a padlocked chain, and worked frantically to get him down. His rescue was complete minutes before his oxygen ran out, and we took a picture together to commemorate our triumph.
I promise, Tricia is not actually threatening to shoot him. After his harrowing experience, they are merely having fun. The hats and sunglasses and props we are holding are all things taken from the cabin—NO! I don’t actually smoke. And if I did, I would certainly not be rich enough to feed my habit with cigars.
The whole ordeal was intense. Working together under pressure built a feeling of camaraderie, and afterward, driving home, we found ourselves laughing long and easily about tiny things: the effect of our relief and triumph.
This kind of group detective live action game, I found when I looked online, was first developed in Japan in 2007 and introduced to the U.S. in 2012.
If you have never participated in an escape room, I highly recommend it. If the small city of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, has such a thing, there is almost certain to be one in your area. Take along a group; you’ll never figure out all those clues on your own. Laugh a lot. Have fun.